A former teacher and headteacher, Wes has been a full-time author since 1989. He has written more than 80 books for young readers including poetry, stories, plays, and picture books. He regularly visits schools nationwide performing his 'Poetry Show' and running writing workshops for children, and for adults.
Mick Manning (born in Yorkshire, England, 1959) and Brita Granström (born in Eskilstuna, Sweden, 1969) work together as a team sharing the illustration and text. They have been producing award-winning non-fiction picture books for almost twenty years. They show that the best non-fiction for children can be scholarly, albeit with a light touch, and can have some of the imagination-stretching qualities of fiction. They are well known for their exciting performances involving readings and live drawing using overhead camera projection (often involving participation from members of the audience) all mixed with an audio-visual presentation. They appear on a regular basis at major UK book festival venues such as Bath, Cheltenham and Edinburgh International Book Festival. They have appeared at The Royal Society Science Festival and have celebrated The Big Draw at various venues including The Imperial War Museum. They have worked closely to support libraries and schools, performing voluntarily to school classes in the UK and Sweden and have also attended the American Library Conference and visited US schools.Many of Manning & Granström's books are translated into a number of languages, including Chinese, German, Greek, Danish, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish and Slovakian. For the last 12 years Mick & Brita have created, written and illustrated a monthly 5-page gentle pre-school series called 'Max and Kate' for the critically acclaimed US children's magazine Ladybug.http://www.mickandbrita.com Selection of Franklin Watts books:The World Is Full of Babies! (Smarties Silver Award Winner); What's under the Bed? (TES Award Winner); Wash, Scrub, and Brush (English Association Award KS1 Winner); Stone Age, Bone Age and many other Wonderwise titles; How Did I Begin? (Rhone Poulenc Science prize winner); How Should I Behave?; Seaside Scientist; My Body Book; My Uncle's Dunkirk; Charlie's War Illustrated (English Association Award KS2 Winner); The Story of Britain; The Brontës - Children of the Moors.
Mark was born in London into a creative family including a pianist, actress and dancer. He was encouraged to draw from an early age going on to study Illustration and Painting at the University of Wolverhampton. He lives with his wife, Geraldine, and their two sons. Follow him on Twitter @markjmarshall4
Diane lives deep in the countryside in Cornwall. She enjoys all kinds of stories, but particularly those about animals.
Paul's books cover a wide range of subjects, from whether the Romans ate crisps to how to build the world's best skatepark, but he writes mostly about sport. Whether you are interested in swimming or cycling, snowboarding, surfing or another sport, Paul has probably written something that will inspire you to get out and give it a try. Paul writes in a shack by the beach, which he shares with his one-eyed surf dog, Daisy.
Anna Matthew lived in a seaside town and spent lots of time playing on the beach, in the park and in the street. Now her two children are growing up, she can write about their fun and games, too!
Sheila May Bird
I'm sitting at my desk, in my little blue shed in my garden, thinking, 'how lucky I am to be sitting in my little blue shed in my garden'. It's my favourite place, where I do my favourite thing - writing. I was 50 years old when I had my first book published. My mother always said I'd be a late developer. The first book I wrote was about a big, bad cat called Sam. It was for adults who had lost the ability to read and were learning to read all over again. I didn't envy them. I had enough trouble doing it the first time. Since then Sam, the big bad cat has been rewritten as a children's reading book. Now I have written several learning to read books, picture books and story books and am lucky enough to take my books to schools, read them and talk about them (another one of my favourite things to do). Some of my books have gone to faraway places like, China, Australia, Slovakia and America.A famous writer once said that writing is the most fun you can have on your own. I think he is right. I also think that reading is fun when I'm on my own. I'd rather read a good book than watch the television, though I do watch films, Dr. Who and any science fiction. Oh yes, and absolutely anything to do with the Arthurian legends. I would love to meet Merlin. I think I own almost every book there is about Arthur and the knights of the round table. Perhaps one day I will be fortunate enough to be asked to write something about King Arthur and Merlin - who knows?When I'm not writing I enjoy reading other people's books. I loved all the Harry Potter books and all the films that went with them. I like scary books, funny books and happy books.I have always loved magic. Perhaps that is because my Grandfather was a magician.When I have time I write pantomime scripts, plays and novels for adults. And sometimes I cook, clean, do the washing and spend time weeding the garden!
After working as a designer for Usborne Publishing, I left in 2000 to concentrate on illustration. I now live in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy in Manchester with my teacher husband Steve and two daughters, Lara and Natasha.I've just started to dip my toes into writing children's stories, heavily influenced I'm sure by my favourite books as a child, The Faraway Tree trilogy by Enid Blyton, which my daughters now love too, and pretty much every Roald Dahl book written. I love illustration, and try and buy every beautiful book I come across to add to my collection. Illustrators like Nicoletta Ceccoli, Benjamin Lacombe, Charles Fuge and Shaun Tan are just utterly fabulous! Plus, I love the line work of Quentin Blake and Chris Riddell. I love music, and working alone, listening to it keeps me sane! I try and get out to live gigs when I can, also the cinema when I can beg, borrow or steal a babysitter for the evening!
Shelagh McNicholas was born and grew up in Liverpool. She went on to study at Kingston University where she graduated with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design & Illustration. Apart from a short time spent teaching life drawing, Shelagh has always worked as an illustrator as well as being a full time mum to her daughter, Molly.'The Ballet Class' written by Adele Geras, was Shelagh's first picture book for Orchard Books. Her realistic and endearing illustrations perfectly complement the story of Tilly and her ambitions to become a top ballerina. Shelagh is passionate about drawing and is happiest with her sketchbook and pencils. Her favourite subject is her daughter and it was her sketches of Molly as a ballerina that inspired her illustrations for 'The Ballet Class'.Shelagh lives in Surrey with her daughter.
Sarah Medina has written numerous books on personal, health and social education. She believes that, by learning about issues that affect their lives, children can learn good life skills and make positive choices that help them to become strong, healthy adults.
Leslie is a professionally performing magician and storyteller.He lives in the north of England and contributes magic routines, articles and stories to many magical and storytelling magazines. His book,'Magictales - The definitive book of storytelling magic', combining magic routines within the framework of stories, has been acclaimed by magicians throughout the world.He also leads storytelling workshops - helping school teachers, early years practitioners and children to become storytellers.He writes many of his own stories, some of which can be found on his website - www.thestorytelling-resource-centre.com
Adrian Mitchell was born in London and studied at Oxford University where he passed most of his time learning to write poems. After leaving University, Adrian spent several years as a journalist and his great claim to fame is that he was the first reporter on a national paper to interview the Beatles.Adrian became a full-time writer of plays, stories and poems and was regarded as one of the country's finest poets and playwrights. He was also a regular performer for adults and children and gave over a thousand poetry readings throughout Britain, Europe, USA, Africa and Asia.Adrian's plays included The White Deer, The Wild Animal Song Contest, Mowgli's Jungle, The Snow Queen and The Pied Piper for children, and for adults, Tyger (The National Theatre) and Man Friday. Adrian's version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company for whom he also adapted Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass for the stage. He also wrote three Beatrix Potter plays which were staged with great success by The Unicorn Theatre for Children - Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Peter Rabbit and His Friends. Adrian passed away in December 2008 and is survived by his wife, who runs the bookshop Ripping Yarns, in Highgate. www.adrianmitchell.co.uk
Maggie is an experienced author and has written numerous books for children, including a range of young reader books for Franklin Watts. She lives in the West Midlands.
Richard Morgan was, until his writing career took off, a tutor at Strathclyde University in the English Language Teaching division. He has travelled widely and lived in Spain and Istanbul. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.
Brian Moses lives in the village of Etchingham with his wife Anne, a loopy labrador called Honey and a collection of bad-tempered chickens.He first worked as a teacher but has now been a professional children's poet since 1988. To date he has over 200 books published including volumes of his own poetry such as Holding the Hands of Angels (Salt) and Behind the Staffroom Door (Macmillan), anthologies such as The Secret Lives of Teachers and Aliens Stole My Underpants (both Macmillan), picture books such as Beetle in the Bathroom and Trouble at the Dinosaur Cafe (both Puffin) and non-fiction titles such as Titanic: Lost & Saved (Wayland). Over 1 million copies of Brian's poetry books have now been sold by Macmillan and in 2005 he was nominated for both the CLPE Award and the Spoken Word Award. Brian also visits schools to run writing workshops and perform his own poetry and percussion shows. To date he has visited well over 2500 schools and libraries throughout the UK. He has made several appearances at the Edinburgh Festival, been writer in residence at Castle Cornet on Guernsey, on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway and at RAF schools in Cyprus. Recently he has visited several International schools in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, France and Ireland.He has performed his poetry at Borders on Second Avenue, New York and in September 2006 he was invited to Iceland to take part in 'Kids in the Marsh' - a festival of children's poetry and song. At the request of Prince Charles he spoke at the Prince's Summer School for Teachers in 2007 at Cambridge University. He is one of ten children's poets invited by then Poet Laureate Andrew Motion to feature on the National Poetry Archive.Favourite book: 'Turtle Diary' by Russell Hoban.Favourite Movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Favourite Music: Bob Dylan